“The Salt Lake City Arts Council sets the standard for excellence in our community. It is time to ask ourselves, given the resources and needs of our community, what role can a modern-day arts agency play and what are we uniquely positioned to do best? I’m personally invested and listening,” says Felicia Baca.
Felicia is joining the Salt Lake City Art Council as the new Arts Division Director. Under the Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, Felicia acts as the chief arts and culture advocate for Salt Lake City. She will oversee the development, promotion, implementation, support, and strengthening of creative programs and policy.
Baca has been with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums since 2012 where she oversaw the visual arts program, including exhibitions, community partnerships, funding programs, and events. Baca has also served various roles at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Tate Britain, and Salt Lake City’s YouthCity Artways program. She is currently serving on the Salt Lake County art acquisitions board, The Blocks community advisory board and KRCL’s community advisory board.
“We have a wealth of talent here,” says Baca. “Individual artists are small businesses, and our arts and cultural organizations contribute to both social well-being and economic development. They all drive sustainable development, create inclusive job opportunities, and build social capital. Arts and education are fundamental in developing equitable, vibrant, and engaged communities.”
“Felicia brings to Salt Lake City a depth of experience in arts administration matched with a strong background in curation and education,” says Lara Fritts, Director of Salt Lake City’s Economic Development. “Her relationships with community partners will benefit the City significantly in this new role. We appreciate her commitment and look forward to highlighting our artists in unique and culturally exceptional venues throughout the City.”
Baca grew up in a family that believed in the power of arts through exposure to visual art, music, and performing arts. Schooling and a love for art drove her to education and administration. When she’s not attending local arts events, you can find Felicia hiking with her pup Skeeter or playing bass in a really fun rock band called Color Animal. She loves to travel and will jump at the chance to hop in the car (or on her motorcycle) for a weekend road trip. She enjoys entertaining and connecting new friends, architecture, and embracing new knowledge through community lectures.
We asked Felicia if she could point a single moment or best day that she has had working with the arts. While there are many, one of the most memorable was organizing an event for Palmer Court when residents were invited to enjoy paintings, photographs and pen drawings — surplus from the Utah State’s unclaimed art collection. “We wanted to celebrate their transition to housing. It was really special to be able to see which works connected to stories or memories in their lives,” said Baca.
Baca is widely admired for her commitment to arts advocacy, especially on issues of equity and inclusion. She brings to this position the knowledge, expertise, and passion required to continue to advance the arts in Salt Lake City.
Stay tuned for more Q&A in our next blog about the legacy of the Salt Lake Arts Council.
Welcome, Felicia Baca!